Victorian election: the day after

As Victoria ushers in its second change of government at successive elections, a summary of what happened and where.

Firstly, let me note that I have dedicated posts for late counting for the lower house and upper house, so if you’ve got anything to offer that’s particularly related to the progress of the count, I encourage you to do so there. What follows is a summary of the results and the fortunes of the various players.

Labor is up 2.5% to 38.8% on the primary vote, which will come down very slightly, say to about 38.5%, as absent and pre-polls come in. It won 43 seats in 2010, of which five were made notionally Liberal in the redistribution (Bellarine, Monbulk, Ripon, Wendouree and Yan Yean), while two new Labor seats were created (Sunbury and Werribee), giving them a net total of 40. Four of the five notionally Liberal seats have been retained, the exception being Ripon, the only one which was not defended by a sitting member. The ABC computer isn’t giving away Ripon either, but Labor’s chances appear slim. However, Labor appears likely to lose Melbourne to the Greens, although that is not as certain as it may have appeared earlier in the evening.

Assuming Labor loses Melbourne, that brings them to 43, which is supplemented by one clear gain from the Liberals in Mordialloc, leaving them one seat short of a majority. Added to that, Labor is all but certain to win the sandbelt marginal of Carrum, and likely to win the other two, Bentleigh and Frankston. Further, Labor is trailing but not out of contention in Prahran (assuming they finish ahead of the Greens, as seems very likely), and a technical possibility in South Barwon. If everything goes wrong for them they might end a seat short of a majority, but that would leave the Greens holding Melbourne, with no option but to support a Labor government even if they didn’t want to.

The Liberals are down 1.8% on the primary vote to 36.2%, which will probably rise very slightly in late counting, perhaps to 36.5%. The Nationals are down 1.2% to 5.5%, which is unlikely to change much, and have lost the seat of Shepparton, which was vacated by the retirement of Jeanette Powell, to independent candidate Suzanna Sheed. This was the worst aspect of a generally poor result for the Nationals, who were also given a fright in Morwell where their margin has been cut from 13.3% to 1.7%, and suffered meaty swings in a number of their very safe seats.

The Greens looked to be big winners early in the count, but their position weakened as the evening progress, such that it’s no longer entirely certain that they have won Melbourne. Certainly they have fallen short in Richmond and Brunswick, as well as the longer shot of Northcote. Their current primary vote of 11.2% is exactly as it was in 2010, although absent votes will probably push it up a little. However, they look to have won two extra seats in the Legislative Council, in Eastern Metropolitan and South Eastern Metropolitan, while also retaining their seats in the other three upper house regions. In no case do Palmer United preferences look to have been responsible.

There is a lot more to be said about the upper house result and the apparent bevy of successful micro-party candidates, but that’s dealt with here. Keeping things focused on the lower house, the one point to be made about the minor players is that Sheed’s victory brings elected independent representation back to the chamber. The result of the 2010 election was the first Australian federal or state election since 1993 at which all the seats were won by the major parties.

Finally, apart from shooting just a little too high for the Greens, and making no effort to account for the possibility of seats not being won by the major parties, I’d like to observe that my poll tracker (and no doubt poll trackers in general) just about nailed it.

UPDATE: Here’s a Labor swings map which I knocked together for my Crikey article today, but which I’ve decided not to use because it isn’t interesting enough.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

541 comments on “Victorian election: the day after”

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    [Oil’s decline is proving to be the worst since the collapse of the financial system in 2008 and threatening to have the same global impact of falling prices three decades ago that led to the Mexican debt crisis and the end of the Soviet Union.

    Russia, the world’s largest producer, can no longer rely on the same oil revenues to rescue an economy suffering from European and U.S. sanctions. Iran, also reeling from similar sanctions, will need to reduce subsidies that have partly insulated its growing population. Nigeria, fighting an Islamic insurgency, and Venezuela, crippled by failing political and economic policies, also rank among the biggest losers from the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last week to let the force of the market determine what some experts say will be the first free-fall in decades.]

  2. b 501 – I can’t help but think of a book I used to have, written in 1979 called “National Lampoon’s A Look back at the 1980s”. Written in the aftermath of Watergate, Vietnam, and the 1970s so-called “oil shocks” it featured among other amazing events, an “oil glut” where oil was being found everywhere including under Vatican City if I remember rightly. This damage OPEC countries so much that they instead had to mass produce myrrh, and they became MPEC.

    Another favorite was

    “In 1984, when the movie musical extravaganza “Rats!” took the work of George Orwell, the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and created something so good, so powerful”

  3. Abbott in a press conference earlier this morning has changed the tone of his voice and his comments before the election of no change to anything.

    My guess is that he has been hit over the head by the Victorian Election and is trying to renew his attitudes.

    He spoke for quite a long time and there were no “ums” or “ahs” not sure that will redeem him.

  4. b 505 – I must find that book, because I think that it would be likely that its version of events from 1980-1990 (written in 1979) would be more accurate than what is portrayed about history on Fox News. from memory I think it predicted the demise of Brezhnev (I think he was found to be a “straw man” literally stuffed with straw at one of those big soviet military parades)

    I have found out they wrote a sequel in 1989 for the 90s but apparently not as funny.

  5. Andrew Bolts solution for Abbott is more of the same; harder nastier. I am sure every person that wants to see the back of Tony will support Bolt.

    Best for Austrlaia is:

    1) Go back to a decent NBN; if you want to say your delivering better and faster go for it; but don’t stuff it up.
    2) ETS; claim it isn’t a tax I don’t care; just implement it.
    3) Back off on the ABC you promised not to touch it; don’t.
    4) National disability insurance scheme. Prove you can actually do something; make it happen.
    5) Gonsky. Make it happen.

    Don’t do these things Australia has an easy solution. One term Tony.

  6. The “compromise” on higher ed is deeply disappointing, with Madigan doing a Palmer-style sell out badged as a “compromise” that really means bugger all.

    Lambie looks like she’ll hold the line, but having to rely on the moral steadfastness of Palmer, Muir and Xenophon is not something I’m enthusiastic about.

  7. Napthine is a nice bloke, but the government he and Ted Baillieu led was quite hopeless, as the election result tends to prove.

  8. Far too much emphasis is paid to the confected largely imaginary so-called budget deficit problem.
    The fact is that we can operate a deficit many times larger than the small amount we currently have and the economy and the people will benefit.
    The orthodox media mantra of ‘budget surplus’ is counterproductive in the current economic situation where private investment has stalled and public investment must take up the slack.
    Of, course if we MUST increase revenues then this Guardian interactive model shows several methods that have been ignored by the current government and almost any couple such measures would enhance revenues at virtually no pain to the vast majority of Australians.

    Here, have a play at being a competent Treasurer with the best interests of Aussies in mind.

  9. Just heard Jamie Briggs arc up on 774 ABC while driving home. Raphael Epstein previewed the interview by playing Tony Abbott saying “This election is a referendum on the East-West Link”. Raph played it three times for emphasis, then introduced Jamie Brigss as a “junior” minister (common parlance) – and boy did Briggsy lose it! Said Raph was denigrating him, blamed the ABC culture.

    Anything but answer the questions!

    Briggs argument seemed to be that East-West Link was a MAJOR issue at the last federal election, and that since they won, it trumped last Tiny Abbott’s self-proclaimed “referendum” last two days ago.

    I wish Raph could have also pointed out the weakness in this ridiculous argument – in Victoria Labor won the TPP and won 19/37 seats!

    From the Australian Parliament website

    In the 2000 Howard ministry all the seventeen ministers responsible for major departments are in the Cabinet, and they are assisted by junior ministers, outside the Cabinet, who are responsible for designated areas of their responsibility. For instance, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (a Cabinet minister) is assisted by the Minister for the Arts. These junior ministers are accountable within their specific responsibilities, and answer questions on them. There are also twelve parliamentary secretaries, eleven of them assigned to Cabinet ministers. The other one is parliamentary secretary to the Cabinet.

    Briggs said there is no such term as junior minister. Well in our Constitution there is no such thing as Cabinet, Parties, or Prime Minister either!

    Are there any depths to stupidity.

    Keep digging Liberals, keep digging!

  10. Patrick at 51 – excellent post about the need for the Labor Right to pull their heads in a bit and let the grown-ups govern. Voters attracted to the Labor Right will mostly vote for the real deal: the Liberal Party. They won’t vote for a supposedly progressive party containing a vocal reactionary minority.

  11. Am I the only one who find Greens’ way of taking the moral high ground in every issue annoying? Greens have proven themselves hard to work with. They are almost religious in their political beliefs and not open to compromise.

    Politics is SUPPOSED to be about marshalling all the evidence, learning from the available experts, listening to affected communities, and making a call which you conscientiously believe to be right. The moral dimension is paramount. It is refreshing to have one party which honours the moral basis of politics. I think voters are disaffected with politics because the duopoly have convinced themselves that professionalism is synonymous with duplicity, and pragmatism means craven refusal to state the truth. We need a constructive way of engaging voters and conducting political discussions, and the Greens supply that alternative.

  12. It is the constant wedging.

    You mean the constant pressure to do the right thing? Yeah, that must be rough.

    The reality is that the Labor Party, while better than the Liberal Party, does not have the argumentative ability, the vision, and the courage to act decisively, not merely tokenistically, on resource depletion, pollution, and growing wealth inequality – the gravest challenges we face.

    The Greens articulate the arguments which have to be heard in our polity. This puts pressure on Labor to rectify their shortcomings and toughen the hell up. I, for one, am glad about this. We all benefit from a major progressive party which is firing on all progressive cylinders and stating the stakes plainly. We all lose when this party cowers in a defensive crouch and lets conservatives dictate the agenda.

  13. Nicholas – sort of on that note – if Labor doesn’t win Prahran, it would be have been interesting if the Greens won it (seems unlikely now). Because I think that may then have really “locked” the Liberals out of this seat for a long time – it may be the case anyway if Labor wins. Just looking at seats like Melbourne where the Libs are down at the 20-25% level. It would be a long way back from 3rd place.

  14. 527

    It is not the Liberals at risk of coming third in Prahran, they have a primary vote over 40% (it is impossible to come third unless you primary vote is under a third of the vote). It is the ALP at risk of coming third, not necessarily on primaries instead of just on 3CP (with preferences), with their primary vote of about a quarter.

    Melbourne is a different seat with different party vote levels.

  15. T – yes I was thinks more of 2018. That if the Libs lost this time they might fall to 3rd next time. But Prahran is a very mixed electorate and probably the big turnover between elections would involve more Labor or Greens voters. So the Libs will probably always be in the hunt. It will stay one to watch for some years to come.

  16. 529

    The northern end of Prahran is very Liberal. South Yarra and Toorak (part of which is in Prahran) are not about to not vote Liberal enough to keep the Liberals as the primary vote leaders in Prahran.

  17. okay rebecca here i am. the main objection to my posts is that i have no right to ‘enforce’ my morality on others. My morality though is no different to yours or anyone else’s. You can provide all the great arguments you like about how prostitution provides a service to the community, about how prostitution should be treated like any other job or no one has the right to tell women what to do but it always collapses in a heap when the argument is personalized. My question stands – “What would your reaction be if your daughter said she wanted to be a prostitute?” There is NO ONE on this blog who would say, “Congratulations on your exciting career choice!” It seems that prostitution is okay as long as it doesn’t involve someone YOU are related to.

  18. Prahran

    In 2010 Clem Newton Brown secured 45% of the Absentees.

    How did he now secure over 55% in 2014? Recognition factor?

    Why have the primary votes for Absentees not been published? How can you get a 2CP without first counting the primaries.

    Why is there not a detailed2CP foldup of each of the minor candidates primary vote? so we can record the split and drift of candidate preferences.

  19. Nicolas teh reens do nto take the Moral High Ground, They have no sence of fiscal responsibility or commonsence. Take thier Bike path p[olicies for example. They spend 10 times as much in the Copenhagen style Bike lanes which do not improve overall public safety., Disadvantage and place at risk the safety of the elderly, disabled and family computers and pedestrians. When for much less they could have had a Haig Poulson “Claredon Street, East Melbourne style bike lane that is safer and much much cheaper. Instead of installing 340 metres of unsafe, expensive. bike lanes they could have had 3km of a better cheaper safer bike lane design. Good public polciy and use of limited resources, No.

    This scenarios can be applied to a heap of the Greens policies. They are not the party that you want in government that is for sure.

    Whilst we hear a lot about there plea for asylum seekers we hardly ever hear about the Millions of refugees that are left languishing in camps that can not afford to pay people smugglers to travel to Australia by boat. Do they not deserve equal opportunity and consideration?

    Shoudl we be givging priority to those that can afford to pay people smugglers and ignore and forget tnose left behind in camps?

    A fairer system would be to instigate a points based regional selection ballot system for registered refugees. More points awarded based on the individual circumstances. More points more chances in the ballot. if you are on shore you receive less points and would have greater chance of being resettled in a different state.

    Greens are not about realistic solutions they have little to no responsibility and just pander to the perceptions of their 10-15% naive support base. No care on financial responsibility.

    That is why I voted them last.

  20. @ Desert Fox @ 531

    If my daughter said she wanted to be a prostitute, I would not say ‘Congratulations on your exciting career choice!’ If my daughter said she wanted to be a Liberal party official, or a garbage collector, or a marketing executive, or an IT support worker, or a professional poker player, I would not say ‘Congratulations on your exciting career choice!’ (Actually, I find it hard to imagine any circumstances in which I would say ‘Congratulations on your exciting career choice!’) But I don’t think it should be a crime to be a Liberal party official, or a garbage collector, or a marketing executive, or an IT support worker, or a professional poker player — or a prostitute. Do you think it should be a crime to be a prostitute, and if so, why?

    So, to answer your question: if my daughter said she wanted to be a prostitute, my reaction would be to say something non-committal and non-judgemental and to try to keep her interested in talking about it so that I could get more information.

    My reaction would not be to say ‘Prostitution is a crime, and it should be a crime, and I’d rather see you in prison than becoming a prostitute!’

    And all this is why, if my daughter did want to become a prostitute, there is a reasonable chance she would tell me. That’s the way I want our relationship to work. I suspect if your daughter wanted to become a prostitute, she’d never tell you, and that’s not the way I’d want my relationship with my daughter to work. Still, since I’ve given my answer to your question, why don’t you give yours? What would your reaction be if your daughter said she wanted to become a prostitute?


    The VEC has updated its 2CP but the data still does not balance with the Primary Count.

    Mickey mouse counting,

    It is clear that the Greens are not a contender.

    A recount will most certainly be on the cards. Hopefully they will distribute the votes step by step and not just jump to a 2CP split, This will provide greater scrutiny of the ballot and more accuracy in the count.

    We need to also check and balance off with the Upper-house tally and the number of ballot papers printed, issued,Spoilt and unused. It may even get down to scrutinizing the signature on the ballot papers. Anything less than 50 is a recount

  22. @ 537
    I think you are actually on the wrong thread with these questions – there is a Legislative Assembly late counting thread. However just to let you know, the Greens aren’t out of contention. The votes of the two Independents and Family First add up to about 2% of the vote. That means that they are not enough to take the Libs over the 50% mark even if they all went to the Libs (which they won’t). That means that Animal Justice Party preferences will be distributed and they are likely to go strongly to the Greens. The current difference between ALP and Greens seems to be just over 400. Even if that increased slightly with the first three distributions, AJP with over 800 votes could still put Greens ahead of ALP. Then the two party split would become Libs vs Greens and ALP preferences would get distributed, so the result would depend how they flow.

    If you want to know more I suggest ask the experts on the other thread.

  23. So J-D your reponse is simply a roundabout way of saying thats okay by you.

    I can just imagine you at Christmas dinner, with your parents and grandparents there.
    You- “I was going to wait until after dinner but I’m so excited I just have to tell you all. Daughter X has told me that she was thinking about being a nurse or scientist but instead she wants to be a prostitute!”
    Of course there would be tears of joy and many hearty congratulations. Now that would be a Christmas to remember!

    Here’s some basic facts about prostitu
    Suffered sexual, physical, or emotional abuse while they were children or as adults,
    Ran away from home,
    Have a poor educational history or low job skills that makes it more difficult for them to find legal employment opportunities,
    Suffer from mental illness, or
    Lived or are living in a family where relatives are addicts and/or prostitutes

    If Fiona Patten really cared about these women wouldn’t she try to get them out?

    Sweden has almost eradicated prostitution. Is that a bad thing? They regard it as an abuse of women.

    Of course I would be appalled and would do everything I could to stop her. I only want her to have sex with those who she’s attracted to.

  24. Desert Fox, I notice that you didn’t discuss anything that I actually wrote.

    You preferred instead to create a fantasy version of me, saying things that I never did say and never would say.

    Obviously it’s much easier for you to conduct an argument when you get to decide what the other side says — but it’s cheating.

    I accept that the circumstances you describe as ‘facts about prostitution’ are true of many prostitutes (although I am not convinced that they are true of all prostitutes; also I notice that you make the factual error of assuming that all prostitutes are women).

    What you haven’t explained is how making prostitution a crime improves the situation. I notice that you praise Sweden’s record (although I’d like to know what evidence you’re relying on when you say that Sweden has almost eradicated prostitution). But you don’t mention that in Sweden it is not a crime to be a prostitute.

    I don’t want my daughter to have sex with anybody she doesn’t want to have sex with (yes, I’m aware that’s not exactly the same as what you write about your daughter, and I’m ready to discuss the precise distinction if you’re interested). So, what would you do to stop your daughter from becoming a prostitute? Does ‘everything you could’ mean anything more than ‘nothing at all’? If your daughter became a prostitute would you want to turn her into the police so that she could be arrested, tried, and sent to prison? Do you think that would make things better?

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